February 4, 2023

In Ukraine’s nearly year-long resistance to Russia’s unprovoked war, only one thing counts: victory. Good must triumph over evil. Freedom and democracy must win.

For this to happen, Ukraine needs heavy military equipment and offensive weapons to stop the Kremlin’s outrageous brutalities. After that, peace negotiations must prioritize Ukraine and the world order, rather than the antiquated pro-Russia clinging to false illusions of “greatness.”

That “size” just doesn’t exist anymore.

Yet there are pro-Russian war supporters – at home and abroad – and they are repeating Russia’s absurd claims. The UN’s latest offer states that Russia “is coming to Ukraine not to kill, not to ruin and not to destroy Ukrainian statehood. We only bring Russian peace.”

What Russia cannot achieve with brute force, it invents – and its lies are obvious to everyone but Tucker Carlson and others like him. His ambitions are grandiose: Russian President Vladimir Putin believes his nation has the right to control not only Ukraine but also the world’s land and water resources. That is why Britain, the Baltic and Scandinavian countries are among the strongest supporters of Ukraine’s victory.

Unfortunately, not all democratic states are. The reluctance of Germany and Switzerland to send Ukraine the military equipment it needs to win is short-sighted and self-defeating because Russia is waging a proxy war in Ukraine against the United States, Europe and NATO – which is what it really means that it is fighting against Germany and Switzerland too.

Democracy must win in Ukraine, and defeat will take Russia’s aggressive nature to the next level of destabilizing world order, peace and security. Russia will continue to bend international institutions such as the United Nations, G20, sports, science, media and the cyber world to its will.

This must not be allowed.

Ukraine is at the forefront of stopping this horror, but the US, NATO, Europe and all other friends and allies are essential to provide the military equipment needed for the task. Unfortunately, these supplies were too slow and too few. Almost a year of incrementalism has failed to end Ukraine’s immeasurable torment. Let’s provide the resources to end Russia’s adventurism, win for a better world, and bring criminal Putin to justice.

For the US, victory means reaffirming its global leadership of democratic states, marked by the questionable withdrawal from Afghanistan, casualties in Syria, Georgia and Crimea, the previous administration’s hesitancy towards NATO and the current currying favor with the Kremlin’s ridiculous demands “Security” has been weakened guarantees and respect.”

America’s leadership is urgently needed to overhaul the world’s peace and security arrangements, including changes in international law, its judicial system – tribunals for war crimes, prisoners of war, civil homicides, etc. – the modernization of institutions such as NATO and the United Nations, nuclear control agreements and more.

For NATO, victory means saving face for failing to offer direct defense to a fledgling democracy that was punished with an unprovoked war for wanting to become a member. The cruel irony is that Ukraine is fighting Russia, the alliance’s nemesis.

For Europe, victory means a return to normality and a respite from fear (especially for the nations bordering Russia). Now they don’t have to educate others about the dangers of Russia’s imperialist ambitions. The lessons of Russia’s twisted psyche are for all to see.

It has been said that Ukraine will lose the war – but its victory depends on all freedom-loving people, especially those in America, Europe and NATO. Everyone must now help end the war. Later it may be too late.

Oksana Bashuk Hepburn is a former Director of the Canadian Human Rights Commission and previously served as President of U*Can Ukraine Canada Relations Inc. She is a part-time resident of Longboat Key and also resides in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.

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